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  • Writer's pictureDel Monte Realty Blog

Get Ready for the Big Day!

Updated: Apr 2

Brush up on your eclipse basics before April 8, 2024!

1. This will be the first total solar eclipse in the continental U.S. in 7 years.

The last one occurred August 21, 2017. It crossed the country from Oregon to South Carolina, and millions of people viewed it successfully. Before that one, you have to go back to February 26, 1979. And it will be 20 years until the next one: August 23, 2044.

2. A solar eclipse occurs when the Sun, the Moon, and Earth are aligned.

The Moon, directly between the Sun and Earth, casts a shadow on our planet. If you’re in the dark part of that shadow (the umbra), you’ll see a total eclipse. If you’re in the light part (the penumbra), you’ll see a partial eclipse.

3. A solar eclipse only happens at New Moon.

The Moon has to be between the Sun and Earth for a solar eclipse to occur. The only lunar phase when that happens is New Moon.

4. Eclipse totalities are different lengths.

The reason the total phases of solar eclipses vary in time is because Earth is not always at the same distance from the Sun, and the Moon is not always the same distance from Earth. The Earth-Sun distance varies by 3 percent and the Moon-Earth distance by 12 percent. The result is that the Moon’s apparent diameter can range from 10 percent smaller to 7 percent larger than the Sun’s.

5. Everyone in the continental U.S. will see at least a partial eclipse.

In fact, if you have clear skies on eclipse day, the Moon will cover at least 16 percent of the Sun’s surface, and that’s from Neah Bay at the northwestern tip of Washington.

6. You want to be on the center line.

This probably isn’t a revelation, but the Moon’s shadow is round. If it were square, it wouldn’t matter where you viewed totality, as people across its width would experience the same duration of darkness. But because the lunar shadow is round, the longest duration of an eclipse occurs at its center line, as that’s where you’ll experience the full width of the Moon’s shadow.

7. First contact is in Texas.

If you want to be the first person to experience totality in the continental U.S., be at the Mexican border in Las Quintas Fronterizas, Texas, at 1:27:21 p.m. CDT. There, the total phase lasts 4 minutes 22 seconds.

8. This eclipse will be the most-viewed ever.

I base this proclamation on four factors: First, the attention it will get from the media; second, the superb coverage of the highway system in our country; third, the typical weather on that date (April 8, 2024); and fourth, the vast number of people who will have access to it from large cities located near the eclipse path.

9. Totality is safe to look at.

During the time the Moon’s disk covers that of the Sun — and only then — it’s safe to look at the eclipse without a solar filter or eclipse glasses. In fact, to experience the awesomeness of the event, you must look at the Sun without a filter during totality.

10. The future is bright, but long.

The next total solar eclipse over the continental U.S. requires a 20-year wait until August 23, 2044. That one is visible only in Montana and North Dakota. Great total solar eclipses follow in 2045 and 2078. Those events have maximum totalities of 6 minutes 6 seconds and 5 minutes 40 seconds, respectively.

Looking to travel to the path of totality?

To assist in any last-minute planning, we've gathered 10 top Texas hotels, campgrounds, and resorts that (somehow!) still have vacancies available less than a month before the eclipse (as of March 14th). Most have special watch parties and other eclipse-related perks, but they don't necessarily come cheap.

In the Hill Country

Skye Texas Hill Country Resort 16880 US-87, Fredericksburg

McKenzie Guest House 910 3rd St, Marble Falls

In Austin

The Driskill Hotel 604 Brazos St, Austin

The Otis 1901 San Antonio St, Austin

In Waco

Hotel Herringbone 319 S. 4th St, Waco

In East Texas

Jellystone Park Tyler 5583 FM 16 East, Tyler

Across Dallas-Fort Worth

The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas 2121 McKinney Ave, Dallas

Hôtel Swexan 2575 McKinnon St, Dallas

Hotel Drover, Autograph Collection 200 Mule Alley Dr, Fort Worth

Camp El Tesoro 7710 Fall Creek Hwy, Granbury

We hope you enjoy this amazing experience!

Make sure to tag @delmonterealty on instagram so we can see all your awesome pics!

Sources: CultureMap Houston and

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